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Blogging for Dollars

Will blogging produce millionaires? Can blogging financially provide people with a full time earning capacity? Will we see more and more professional bloggers blogging for dollars? Can and should blogs earn money?

An increasing amount of people are writing about making money from Blogging. There is a quite a bit of debate about the legitimacy of doing so.

Megnut wrote an interesting article titled Blogging for Dollars: Giving Rise to the Professional Blogger . She writes:

Most financial discussions focus on blog content and explore donations, advertising, or some type of sponsorship/patronage model as the means to compensate bloggers. Very little progress has been made towards finding viable economic models because people still think of Weblogs as personal sites. If you aren’t Andrew Sullivan (who purportedly makes $6,000 per month on his site through donations), it’s hard to imagine how you’d get the traffic and donations to generate such revenue….

By paying great bloggers to produce Weblogs, we remove economic constraints and enable them to devote their energies full-time to producing compelling content and creating outstanding Weblogs.’

Whether you agree with it or not – here are some of the ways bloggers are going earning money from their blogs.
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Where do your Blog Readers Look?

eyemovement.jpg

I just found this fascinating article that has been written about some research into where web page readers eyes go when reading online news sources. I need to digest it a little more yet – however there are some interesting findings in the research that I’m sure would apply to us as bloggers as we consider the layout of our blogs. Here are a couple of snippets from the article.

“The eyes most often fixated first in the upper left of the page, then hovered in that area before going left to right. Only after perusing the top portion of the page for some time did their eyes explore further down the page….

Now also consider another Eyetrack observation: Dominant headlines most often draw the eye first upon entering the page — especially when they are in the upper left, and most often (but not always) when in the upper right. Photographs, contrary to what you might expect (and contrary to findings of 1990 Poynter eyetracking research on print newspapers), aren’t typically the entry point to a homepage. Text rules on the PC screen — both in order viewed and in overall time spent looking at it.”

Read more at Eyetrack III – What You Most Need to Know:

How to Get your Blog Discovered

Scobleizer has a good post on how to get your blog discovered. Most of it is the kind I’ve stuff I’ve already got in the Blog tips section but this one was a tad different:

‘Hang out with smart (or at least interesting) people. For instance, Alex Mallett is working in Drew Endy’s lab at MIT. Now, Drew is the guy who blew us all away at FooCamp last weekend. Just the fact that Alex can hang out with Drew and understand what Drew is asking for makes him far more interesting. Subscribed without even reading another post. Figure out who the “connectors” in your community are and find out how to hang out with them. If they get to know you, chances are they are looking for new people to link to. For instance, if you’re a political blogger I’d be trying to figure out how to meet Glenn Reynolds or Andrew Sullivan. These two guys alone have hundreds of thousands of readers per day.’

Scobleizer also links up to Biz Stone’s latest post on the topic of Promoting your Blog also. Again its nothing most of us havn’t already read and it is targetted mainly at blogs that use Blogger – but its a comprehensive summary of some good tips.

Successful Blogging – Lessons Learned from an Olympic Experiment

A few people have emailed and asked for more information about the Olympic Blog we’ve run. Phil asked – “what lessons did you learn about running a successful blog through the process.” I thought it might make an interesting Blog Tip post.

1. Think Ahead – The whole Olympic Blog experiment emerged in my mind a number of months back when a smaller experiment paid off. Back in February I posted a post titled ‘American Idol 3 Winner’. Now that might seem like a crazy post to do back in February when the winner would be announced in May – but the whole point was to post something in advance of the event to let Google index it and rank it highly so that when the day came it would be the first thing people would see when they searched for the term. The experiment paid off – to this day we’re still number 1 on that post (which now has up to date relevant news of the winner) and more importantly on the day when one of the biggest search terms on the web was ‘American Idol 3 Winner’ we had 10s of thousands of visitors.

After this little experiment I began to wonder what other events I could anticipate. One of the looming world events was obviously the Olympics and so we resolved to expand the experiment.

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Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask about Blogging

Simon World has a good post titled Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask. Its got some great advice on blogging for anyone starting out….or continuing in blogging.

Here is a couple of his tips:

4. Prepare for the reality that the rest of the world may not share your high opinion of yourself and your site.
5. You know that movie where the guy built a baseball field and waited for some dead folks to turn up and play ball? Blogging’s like that. Prepare to slog at putting up brilliantly crafted, accurate and to-the-point insights that will proceed to make no difference to anything at all….
7. The big bloggers (in terms of readership, not size. I’m sure at least some of them are thin) are big for a reason. They fill a niche, they have interesting opinions, they’ve been doing it for a long time. Whatever it is, you need to realise that overnight success can take years to create.

There is heaps more there to look over.

On a similar blogging theme – Rachel has a great collection of thoughts on Business Blogging.

How to Start a Blog

Jonny Baker has an Idiots Guide to Starting a Blog which is well worth the read if you’re thinking of starting one but don’t know how. I’m going to add it to my Blog Tips Central Register.

Other good ‘How to start a blog’ type articles include:

If you’ve written any material that would help a blogger just starting out (or know of any) please feel free to add them in comment below.

Adsense Tips for Bloggers 8 – Miscellaneous Adsense Tips

adsense.jpgThis is part 8 (and the last) in a series of posts on increasing AdSense revenue for bloggers. The full series is Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 and Part 8.

We have unpacked our Adsense Equation in detail and have given numerous tips for maximising Adsense Revenue. Whilst there are occasions that Adsense doesn’t perform as well on some websites for no particular reason as others we can safely predict that if you work on each of the four areas you should see an increase in the amount of the cheque that Adsense sends you at the end of each month. Remember though that your revenue will only be as high as your weakest link – work on all elements of the equation – not just one or two.

As well as the proceeding tips there are a number of other things that might be helpful to know in using Adsense that we couldn’t find a place for in previous posts.

Millions of dollars in online sales every day. Get your share.
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Adsense Tips for Bloggers 7 – Well Placed and Designed Ads

adsense.jpgThis is part 7 in a series of posts on increasing AdSense revenue for bloggers. The full series is Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 and Part 8.

Revenue = high readership + high paying ads + relevant ads + well placed and designed ads

The forth element of our Adsense Equation is that of having well designed and optimally placed Adsense Ads. I’ve found that ad positioning is incredibly important. I remember shifting the ads on one of my blogs a while back and being over the moon to discover the next morning that the move had doubled the click through rates that I’d had over night! Its worth doing some tweaking.
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Adsense Tips for Bloggers 6 – Relevant Ads

adsense.jpgThis is part 6 in a series of posts on increasing AdSense revenue for bloggers. The full series is Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 and Part 8.

Revenue = high readership + high paying ads + relevant ads + well placed and designed ads

The third element of our Adsense equation is that of relevant Adsense ads. It is all very well to rank high in search engines to generate high levels of traffic, but without relevant ads that relate to the content of your blog you are not likely to generate much in the way of click throughs.
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Adsense Tips for Bloggers 5 – High Paying Ads

adsense.jpgThis is part 5 in a series of posts on maximizing AdSense revenue for bloggers. The full series is Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 and Part 8.

Adsense Revenue = Traffic Levels + High Paying Ads + Relevant Ads + Optimally Positioned and Designed Ads

The next element of this Adsense equation to be examined is how to get high paying Adsense Ads running on your site. Obviously in any business one way to get higher profits is to charge more for your product – whilst you have no direct say in how much is charged for ads run on your site – there are ways of targeting types of ads that might bring in a higher return than others.
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